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House Adopts 2012 Defense Authorization Bill and its Anti-Gay 'DADT' and DOMA-Related Amendments

The U.S. House yesterday adopted  the fiscal year 2012 defense authorization bill by a 322-96 along with several anti-gay provisions intended to affect implementation of repeal of the military's gay ban and prevent same-sex marriages from taking place within military facilities and by military chaplains.

Ndaa Read about the amendments, which advocates do not expect to succeed in the net-yet-introduced Senate version of the bill, here.

The Washington Blade adds this interesting bit:

Informed sources said House Democratic leaders offered those who worked last year to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal the opportunity for an amendment on the floor to eliminate the language in the defense authorization bill related to certification expansion.

However, the five major repeal organizations — the Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Third Way, Servicemembers United and the Center for American Progress — agreed to decline the opportunity for the amendment.

According to sources, repeal advocates believed such a amendment would likely fail and could pick up support from moderate House Democrats. A defeat on the House floor, advocates believed, would increase the chances of the Senate adopting the certification expansion language.

Conservative organizations are vowing to sue unless the Senate adopts similar measures, the WaPo reports:

Conservative legal activists and Christian leaders said Thursday that they will sue on behalf of military chaplains if the Senate does not pass a Republican version of the annual Pentagon policy bill that includes language barring Defense Department employees from participating in same-sex marriage ceremonies.

**

Austin Nimocks, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, said his conservative legal organization would sue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to ensure that federal law — instead of the Pentagon personnel policy — represents the group’s position.

“If the Senate does not follow the House and protect chaplains and service members, we have no doubt that legal action will be required,” Nimocks said Thursday at a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former Army Interrogator who was discharged under DADT: “The passage of the defense authorization bill with these hostile amendments included comes as no surprise, and it should not become a cause for concern as long as our allies in the Senate and the President all stand strong and refuse to support a defense bill containing these amendments. These amendments were nothing short of a waste of time by lawmakers who were sent to Washington to do serious business and a waste of taxpayer money. The Pentagon, the President, and the American people have made it abundantly clear – we are moving forward and building a stronger military free of unnecessary discrimination.”

Said Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis in a statement: "The opposition may well believe they won the day in the House, simply outnumbering repeal advocates. But this fight is far from over. We must look to repeal supporters in the Senate, where the defense bill will be taken up next and where we are better positioned than in the House. We need to beat back this harmful language and make sure it does not survive in conference committee."

 

 

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Comments

  1. the old rethug mantra of god, guns and gays. They have no plan, no goal, just the same old BS. They were given a mandate in the house to fix the economy (like Obama) and what do we get? gay bashing, anti-abortion and more tax cuts for their fellow cronies. If the american public doesnt finally see that the gop only cares for 2% of the population, then I have no pity.

    Posted by: steven elliot | May 27, 2011 12:52:47 PM


  2. Hateful and contemptuous of our government and our citizens' rights - these people aren't Christians.

    Posted by: Steve | May 27, 2011 12:53:46 PM


  3. i suggest for unit cohesion, its simple, ban all anti-gay soldiers.

    religious leaders have no right to dictate military policy, we are not a theocracy.

    Posted by: mld | May 27, 2011 1:49:13 PM


  4. One could only hope for such a lawsuit. How could they possibly show harm to their so-called ministries?

    It would be a clear case of trying to gtet the government to enforce one set of religious beliefs over others.

    Posted by: Ben in Oakland | May 27, 2011 1:57:24 PM


  5. Did j'all know that Servicemembers United has [correctly] condemned SLDN for trying to generate contributions for themselves in response to this PHONY crisis? [How HRC of them.]

    Did j'all know that the greatest legal threat is not a maybe-future lawsuit by the Antigay Industry that will never succeed but the fact that Obama, Inc., is STILL trying to kill the ruling in the LCR case that would IMMEDIATELY end the ban [or did you think the ban WAS actually over]? If that ruling that the ban is unconstitutional is not upheld there will be NOTHING to keep a future President or Congress from bringing back the ban even after it's finally lifted this year. WHY is Obama doing this and WHY isn't SLDN protesting it?

    Did j'all know that Obama, Inc., is also fighting a class action suit by the ACLU on behalf of gays who were denied 100% of one-time separation pay? Obama could fix that with the stroke of a pen as the Pentagon reports to him and Congress left administration of the separation pay law up to them. WHY isn't he?

    In fact, he let the rabid Repug dogs out into the vacuum created by his refusing to ACTUALLY end the ban, now, FIVE MONTHS AFTER he signed the bill. They're only taking advantage of it.

    Posted by: Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com | May 27, 2011 3:10:20 PM


  6. Will "fierce advocate" Obama veto it? Ha! Yeah, I know. Funny. Well, not really.

    Posted by: Max | May 27, 2011 3:46:30 PM


  7. A sidenote: If gays were afforded equal rights, there would be no need for HRC. If there were a cure for Aids, big Pharma would not make as much money. See the connection?

    Posted by: ty | May 27, 2011 10:09:30 PM


  8. Why is it not enough for conservative Christians to exercise religious freedom by non-participation?

    Why must they have a law banning all participation? Are they afraid there are members the "following" who might choose to do otherwise?

    How is it that religious freedom means it must be illegal?

    Posted by: Zigmatta | May 28, 2011 1:09:10 PM


  9. Wait, did I miss something. They convservos are going to sue the US government if it fails to implement a law that restricts the freedom of all military chaplains to follow the tenets of their faith. AWESOME! And no, I didn't type this wrong....that's exactly what the effect of a suit would be. The far right is demanding that the government bar all military personnel from performing same-sex marriages.....which is a far, far cry from ensuring that conservative chaplains have the ability to opt out of the same activity. Gotta love that circular "logic" they use on the right....."we're going to protect religious freedom and uphold the First Amendment by dictating religious practice and abrogating the First Amendment." I suppose it's all part of their larger plan to forcibly bankrupt America by adding to the national debt via burdening the court system.

    Posted by: AgBoiNV | May 28, 2011 9:09:41 PM


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